Incense Clocks: Burning Time in Medieval Japan

Incense Clocks: Burning Time in Medieval Japan

Before the introduction of mechanical clocks with pendulums and gears, people around the world used a variety of ingenious devices to mark hours and keep track of time. Most people are familiar with hourglasses, water clocks, and candles, but fewer people outside of Asia have seen (or used) an incense clock. Incense clocks originated in China or in India (there are arguments, and evidence, for both) and spread to Japan by the 8th century (if not before). While the simpler clocks used sticks of incense that took known periods of time to burn, more elaborate clocks involved setting patterned lines

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Dreaming of Mountains…

Dreaming of Mountains…

With the Coronavirus closing down all of the trails (and almost everything else) in Japan for the last two months, I’ve missed seeing spring burst through the mountains. I’ve missed the cherry blossoms. The irises, the azaleas And the start of the hydrangeas (many of which are still in bloom). I am aware that I am fortunate, that flowers and mountains are the things I miss the most. Many people have suffered, and are suffering far more than I–and it saddens me daily to think about the condition of the world right now (for many reasons, coronavirus being only one).

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Happy Release Day, GHOST OF THE BAMBOO ROAD!

Today marks the release date for the seventh Hiro Hattory mystery – with my favorite cover to date. This time, Hiro and Father Mateo find themselves facing their strangest killer yet . . . When a vengeful spirit terrorizes a mountain village, Hiro and Father Mateo must save the villagers from the phantom’s wrath. January 1566: En route to Edo, Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo spend the night in a rural mountain village whose inhabitants live in terror of a legendary vengeful ghost. When the innkeeper’s wife is murdered and Father Mateo’s housekeeper, Ana, is blamed

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